Friendster Mobs?, the Philippine affiliate of Friendster, is expected to release a new web-based chat service called Friendster Mobs anytime soon.

A portable buddy list of some sort that “could take your linkedin network, myspace friends and friendster friends and make those lists ‘portable’ such that you can use gaim, meebo or a jabber client to access them all at the same time“.

TechCrunch did a quick review of F Mobs (or FM, there seems to be a lot of codenames) last May which noted that MySpace had earlier launched an IM client of their own.

Terence Pua, Country Manager of, explained the rationale behind Friendster Mobs in one of his comment over at TechCrunch:

Friendster Mobs was born out of the idea that many overseas Filipino workers had Friendster accounts and wanted to stay in touch synchronously (and asynchronously) with friends and family (who also have Friendster accounts) in the Philippines.

The main component of Friendster Mobs is actually not the web-based chat but the built in mobile SMS experience for PH-based mobile phones.

Example: let’s say a nurse in California wants to send a message to her brother in Manila. She would just log on to Friendster Mobs, click on mobile and automatically, this would be routed to her brothers registered mobile phone. If the brother responds, she get the response back on her chat window. This is very different from the Userplane experience which is purely web2web.

Friendster Mobs takes advantage of the built-in overseas Filipino and PH-based users in their community and extends it to synchronous communication with a built-in premium SMS business model.

One can basically infer that Friendter Mobs was specifically designed for Filipinos and their OFW relatives abroad.

But wait, are all our OFW relatives even on Friendster? The business model here is closely similar to what Chikka has been sucessfully doing for the past several years, only this time, there’s nothing to download and install. But isn’t what most people use to sent free text messeges to their loved ones abroad? I call it “One text, then tawag” and it’s practically a cost-free strategy, if you get what I mean.

Anyway, please do share some of your thoughts on this. Will it be a viable (and profitable) alternative to Chikka, or Skype, or Yahoo Messenger and the rest of your favorite IM client?

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